When I was 21, I decided I wanted to pursue a childhood dream of giving martial arts a try. And so at 21, I made a commitment to try some classes. It scared the dickens out of me to do something so challenging and go against those that were practically raised in a taekwondo uniform – but I did it.
Once I was in, I was hooked, and I immersed myself in it. To become great at something, you have to have an unshakeable commitment (even if you’re scared out of your mind). You must learn from the best, and totally immerse yourself in the culture of that goal. Not only did I become a 3rd degree black belt, I went on to train others by becoming a chief instructor, I became the 2007 Florida State Champion, and a world Silver medalist after recovering from two knee reconstructions. I did eventually hang up the gloves, but the life skills I learned from this sport have given me wisdom to carry with me every day of my life.
Today, I cross-pollinate those philosophies with my faith and I’ve developed my own coaching program to help others have complete dominion in their life by starting with complete dominion of their thoughts and actions.
I tell this story not because I want others to know what I accomplished. I tell it because for at least 18 years of my life, before I started martial arts, I dreamt about it but always had a self-limiting belief that I was too old to do something that I “should have” started when I was a kid.
Why do we discount our ability to dream and put actions toward that dream as we get older. At what point in our lives do we wake up and say, “I can’t.” Most of us would never dream of telling a child not to believe in themselves, and I shudder at the thought of anyone ever uttering those words to my daughter.
So if you agree with that last point, then I challenge you. Right now, close your eyes and imagine yourself as a child – the little boy or little girl you once were. Imagine looking at that child, kneeling down and picking him or her up and holding them in your arms. Imagine the feelings you have of hope and aspiration for what you wanted as your child-self.
Now, with all those emotions, all that love and all that hope, imagine the excitement that child feels about the life that lies ahead. Could you even imagine telling him or her that their desires are just apparitions? Could you bear the idea of whispering, “You can’t do that” to them? What about saying to him or her, “You’re a fool, don’t even bother trying.” Most of us wouldn’t dream of saying things like that, so why is it acceptable to tell yourself that now?
Be kind to your inner child. That child is just the limitless and brave version of yourself wrapped in a small body. Don’t stunt your inner growth because you grew up on the outside.
You can all be the BEST of whatever it is you dream of – no matter how “late” it is in life. Three things: Burning desire. Total immersion. Massive action. Put them together and you have a recipe for success. Dismiss fear and anything or anyone that stands in your way. Choose YOU and the heart that beats with intention for a better way than the status quo.
Believe in yourself. Inspire yourself. Prove it to yourself.